(Fargo, ND) -- It's been just over a year since a former NDSU Bison star took a chance and bought into a business here in the FM Metro, and now he's finally able to catch his breath and feel the success of it all.
"It's truly been a whirlwind of a year, especially here in the new year," said Cooper Wahlo Jr. while speaking on his franchisee ownership of Mahana Fresh here in Fargo with WDAY Midday. "I'm lucky that I still work with the franchise and corporate partners to have a plan in place this time around as the new year came. They told me to be ready for things like health-conscience people for New Year's Resolutions, and we've been very busy."
What started as a true risk has paid off greatly for Wahlo Jr, who has embraced what he calls a 'true market' for what he is selling at Mahana Fresh.
"There is definitely a market for a build-your-own-bowl restaurant here in the area," said Wahlo Jr. "And business has been booming."
One of the ways he has been able to grow the business has been catering different events around the area. That includes everything from sporting events at places like the Rustad Center in West Fargo, to working with NDSU on certain occasions.
"It's all made fresh, so it's a little difficult to plan ahead because you don't want to have to throw out too much food that isn't taken at these events," said Wahlo Jr. "But, luckily most places we've gone, including the Rustad here recently, we sold out. It was a great crowd and shows people really enjoy what we have to offer."
He also noted a fantastic crew that has been built up over the last year which has helped him carry the load as business continues to get busier and busier.
You can find out more details about what Mahana Fresh is all about by clicking here.
As for the real estate business, Cooper says it was always a dream to get involved in selling homes, and now that has come in the form of him getting his real estate license this past October.
"It's actually partly how I got the space for Mahana Fresh," said Cooper. "I had a few properties on the books already and sold them to buy this. A great investment and something I also have a true passion for."
He expects the market to pick back up soon as well, something he's ready for as he gets more properties and clients under his belt. But, what about Mahana Fresh and management there? That goes back to the support from co-workers, and someone else very special to him.
"I have to thank my wife, who essentially helps keep me and all this in check," said Wahlo Jr. "She's been my rock through all of this, and without her it isn't possible."